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posted by takyon on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the hempire-strikes-back dept.

Past articles: 20152016

What's up, Soylenteers? I've got to write another one of these? #420TooMainstream.

Legalization Status

Timeline of cannabis laws in the United States
Timeline of cannabis law

Since this time last year, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical cannabis, Illinois decriminalized it, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis. An attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in Arizona narrowly failed.

29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, although restrictions vary widely from state to state.

Germany's medical cannabis law was approved in January and came into effect in March. Poland has also legalized medical cannabis, and Georgia's Supreme Court has ruled that imprisonment for possession of small amounts of cannabis is unconstitutional.

Recently: West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana

🍁 Cannada: Not So Fast 🍁

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled (archive) legislation (archive) that would make Canada the first major Western country to legalize recreational cannabis (the only country to legalize it to date is Uruguay, although implementation has taken years), dealing a serious blow to the crumbling United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, the Liberal Party of Canada intends to wait more than a year to act on its campaign promise, during which time Canadians can still face prosecution for possession of the drug:

True to form, this government has written down a series of talking points, in this case, trying to make it sound like it's cracking down on pot rather than legalizing it. And Justin Trudeau's ministers are sticking to the messaging from party central like a child reciting Dr. Seuss.

Not once in that As It Happens interview did [Justice Minister Jody] Wilson-Raybould explain why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly (see the Liberal party's website statement) for another year. Instead, literally every second time she opened her mouth, she re-spouted the line about "strictly regulating and restricting access." Off asked eight questions. Four times, Wilson-Raybould robotically reverted to the same phrase.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a parliamentary lifer who mastered the art of repetitive dronetalk sometime back in the last millennium, was out peddling more or less the same line, but with an added warning: Not only will the government continue to criminalize Canadians for what it considers a trifling offence, enforcement will be vigorous. "Existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected," Goodale declared. "This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all." Why the government cannot simply decide to invoke prosecutorial and police discretion, and cease enforcing the cannabis laws it considers unjust, was not explained. Why that would necessarily be a "free for all" also went unexplained.

The Liberal Party of Canada has taken pains to remind everyone that the Conservative Party will "do everything they can to stop real change and protect a failed status quo". Unfortunately, they did not get the memo that "marijuana" is a term with racist origins.

Make like a tree and legalize it, Cannadia... Cannibinoidia.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Backtrack to April 20th, 2016. Bernie Sanders still seemingly had a shot at becoming the President of the United States. Sanders, as well as Hillary Clinton (though begrudgingly), supported decriminalization of cannabis, medical use, and the continuation of states making decisions about recreational use. The #2 Republican candidate Ted Cruz also had a "let the states sort it out" stance.

One contender stood out, and he went on to become the @POTUS to #MAGA. The widely predicted "third term" was prevented, and that outcome may greatly affect a burgeoning semi-legal cannabis industry. One recent casualty are Amsterdam-style "cannabis clubs" (think: brewpubs). Colorado's legislature has backed off on a bill that would have allowed on-site consumption of cannabis at dispensaries due to the uncertain future of federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

Trump's position on cannabis has been ill-defined, although he supports medical use and has indicated that states should handle the issue. But the same can't be said of his Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions. Here are some quotes about the drug from Mr. Sessions:

I thought those guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot. [Source. Context: Sessions later testified that the comment was a joke.]

We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger.

I think one of [President Obama's] great failures, it's obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana... It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started 'Just Say No.

You can't have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink... It is different... It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.

Good people don't smoke marijuana.

Cannabis advocates are becoming increasingly paranoid about the federal government's stance towards the states (and a certain District) that have legalized cannabis. And this is following an Obama administration that was criticized for conducting raids in states with legalization. It is too early to tell how the Trump administration will choose to deal with cannabis, but there are signs that harsher policies and greater enforcement could be coming:

On Wednesday, [April 5th,] Jeff Sessions directed Justice Department lawyers to evaluate marijuana enforcement policy and send him recommendations. And some state officials are worried. This week the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington wrote the attorney general. They asked Sessions and the new Treasury secretary to consult with them before making any changes to regulations or enforcement.

At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said recently that the president is sympathetic to people who use marijuana for medical reasons. He pointed out that Congress has acted to bar the Justice Department from using federal money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs. But Spicer took a harsh view of recreational marijuana. "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we need to be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by," Spicer said.

Really, Spicer? Recreational cannabis use shouldn't be encouraged during an opioid addiction crisis? Read on.

Politics nexus unavailable for comment.

The Opioid Crisis Drags On (it's relevant)

Heroin use has become more dangerous as dealers have increasingly added other substances that massively increase potency without affecting the size of a dose significantly. Carfentanil, which is used as an elephant tranquilizer, has led to hundreds of deaths over very short timespans. It is impossible for the average user to predict the potency and potential danger of street heroin. While there have been international responses to these compounds, new chemical analogues are being created all the time:

Chinese labs producing the synthetic opiates play hide-and-seek with authorities. On their websites, they list fake addresses in derelict shopping centers or shuttered factories, and use third-party sales agents to conduct transactions that are hard to trace. The drugs themselves are easy to find with a Google search and to buy with a few mouse clicks. A recent check found more than a dozen Chinese sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other derivatives, often labeled as "research chemicals," for sale through direct mail shipments to the United States. On one website, carfentanil goes for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.

The cat-and-mouse game extends to chemistry, as the makers tinker with fentanyl itself. Minor modifications like adding an oxygen atom or shifting a methyl group can be enough to create whole new entities that are no longer on the list of sanctioned compounds. Carfentanil itself was, until recently, unregulated in China.

2016 saw the addition of kratom to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S. Advocates for the tree leaf drug, which was formerly classified as a supplement, believe that its painkiller effects and low risk factors make it a useful replacement for the oft-deadly opioids that millions of Americans are addicted to. Kratom users have treated their pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms using the formerly "legal high". The DEA has refused to acknowledge this application and points out the "skyrocketing" number of calls to the Poison Control Center regarding kratom in recent years. One skeptic of kratom, Dr. Josh Bloom of the American Council on Science and Health, has looked at the same evidence and concluded that the trail of bodies left by substances like fentanyl and the scarce number of deaths (perhaps wrongly) attributed to kratom make it clear that the substance is the better "poison". He also notes that:

The number of calls to poison control centers is not reliable for determining how many poisonings actually occurred. It is a crude approximation at best.

Much like kratom, medical cannabis has been touted as a solution to the opioid crisis. States with legalized medical cannabis have seen a reduction in reported instances of opioid dependence [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.006] [DX] So it is puzzling that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would use opioids as a bludgeon against cannabis legalization while AG Sessions expresses astonishment over the suggestion of using cannabis as a "cure" for the opioid crisis.

Bonus: Here's a video (2m14s) of a woman getting administered Narcan/naloxone. Here's an alternate video (2m39s) in which a man who overdosed on heroin is able to sit up in about a minute after being administered naloxone.

⚚ The Slow March for Science ⚕

While the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to reclassify cannabis from its current Schedule I status, citing the supposedly rigorous conclusions reached by the Food and Drug Administration, it will allow more than one institution to grow cannabis for research purposes, ending the monopoly held by the University of Mississippi. However, the Schedule I status of cannabis remains an impediment to further research:

[...] DEA's decision not to reschedule marijuana presents a Catch-22. By ruling that there is not enough evidence of "currently accepted medical use"—a key distinction between the highly restrictive Schedule I classification and the less restrictive Schedule II—the administration essentially makes it harder to gather such evidence.

"They're setting a standard that can't be met," says David Bradford, a health economist at the University of Georgia, Athens. "That level of proof is never going to be forthcoming in the current environment because it requires doing a really extensive clinical trial series, and given that a pharmaceutical company can't patent whole plant marijuana, it's in no company's interest to do that."

Schedule I status presents obstacles for clinical researchers because of restrictions on how the drugs must be stored and handled, Bradford says. Perhaps more significant, that listing may evoke skittishness at funding agencies and on the institutional review boards that must sign off on research involving human subjects.

Researchers have disparaged the quality and potency as well as the appearance and odor of the University of Mississippi's cannabis products:

"It doesn't resemble cannabis. It doesn't smell like cannabis," Sisley told PBS NewsHour last week.

Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist marijuana news site, agrees. "That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis," he said. Browne should know: He's reviewed dozens of strains professionally and is running a sophisticated marijuana growing competition called the Grow-Off.

"In two decades of smoking weed, I've never seen anything that looks like that," Browne said. "People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on."

Research on cannabinoids and psychedelics is proceeding, slowly. One study published yesterday (74 years after the first LSD trip) came to an astounding conclusion: Psychedelics can induce a "heightened state of consciousness":

Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, were found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to a study into the effects of the drugs. The shift in brain activity accompanied a host of peculiar sensations that the participants said ranged from floating and finding inner peace, to distortions in time and a conviction that the self was disintegrating.

[...] What we find is that under each of these psychedelic compounds, this specific measure of global conscious level goes up, so it moves in the other direction. The neural activity becomes more unpredictable," said Anil Seth, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Sussex. "Until now, we've only ever seen decreases compared to the baseline of the normal waking state."

Inconceivable!

Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep46421) (DX)

♯ Ending on High Notes ♯

Vape Naysh, y'all!

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4/20: StonerNews is People 64 comments

April 20th (420) is a celebration of stoner/cannabis culture. In recent years, decriminalization and legalization of marijuana has accelerated as public opinion has shifted, so there are more reasons to celebrate...

4/20: Half-Baked Headline 75 comments

takyon writes:

It's that time of the year again. Time to talk about drugs and the war on them because some stoners declared a holiday or something.

A recent article in Harper's Magazine includes the following gem that sums up the modern Drug War's origins. The journalist interviewed John Ehrlichman, one of the Watergate co-conspirators:

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

[Oh yes, it continues...]

U.S. Federal Cannabis Prohibition Remains Intact 76 comments

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has once again rejected attempts to reschedule cannabis and allow medical cannabis federally:

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg says the decision is rooted in science. Rosenberg gave "enormous weight" to conclusions by the Food and Drug Administration that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," and by some measures, it remains highly vulnerable to abuse as the most commonly used illicit drug across the nation.

"This decision isn't based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine," he said, "and it's not." Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, alongside heroin and LSD, while other, highly addictive substances including oxycodone and methamphetamine are regulated differently under Schedule II of the law. But marijuana's designation has nothing to do with danger, Rosenberg said.

The Post article notes:

In the words of a 2015 Brookings Institution report, a move to Schedule II "would signal to the medical community that [the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health] are ready to take medical marijuana research seriously, and help overcome a government-sponsored chilling effect on research that manifests in direct and indirect ways."

However, the DEA will expand the number of locations federally licensed to grow cannabis for research from the current total of... 1: the University of Mississippi.

Related: Compassionate Investigational New Drug program


Original Submission

DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30 32 comments

Kratom, an herbal drug made of ground-up tree leaves, is "temporarily" joining other natural substances such as cannabis, psilocybin, and peyote on the schedule I list of the Controlled Substances Act. The active ingredients in kratom, the indole alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, are both being added to the list for up to three years, after which they can be added permanently.

Prior to this move, the U.S. has already been seizing shipments of kratom:

In 2014, the FDA issued an import alert that allowed US Customs agents to detain kratom without a physical examination. "We have identified kratom as a botanical substance that could pose a risk to public health and have the potential for abuse," said Melinda Plaisier, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. According to the DEA, between February 2014 and July 2016, nearly 247,000 pounds of kratom were seized.

Advocates say that kratom is a natural treatment for opioid addiction, an application that the Drug Enforcement Agency dismisses. Meanwhile, the heroin/opioid epidemic continues with "unprecedented" events like the recent 174 heroin overdoses in just six days in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Check out the implosion of this kratom subreddit, which is attempting to get 100,000 signatures on the White House petition site:

APATHY WILL GET US NOWHERE. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME FOR US TO BAND TOGETHER, ITS NOW. stand with me brothers and sisters. hope is not lost.


Original Submission

Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid 32 comments

When customers want a longer-lasting high, heroin dealers respond by augmenting their products with drugs like carfentanil:

A powerful drug that's normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil. The synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, the prescription painkiller that led to the death earlier this year of the pop star Prince. Fentanyl itself can be up to 50 times more deadly than heroin.

In the past few years, traffickers in illegal drugs increasingly have substituted fentanyl for heroin and other opioids. Now carfentanil [alt link] is being sold on American streets, either mixed with heroin or pressed into pills that look like prescription drugs. Many users don't realize that they're buying carfentanil. And that has deadly consequences.

"Instead of having four or five overdoses in a day, you're having these 20, 30, 40, maybe even 50 overdoses in a day," says Tom Synan, who directs the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force in Southwest Ohio. He's also the police chief in Newtown, Ohio. Synan says carfentanil turned up in Cincinnati in July. At times, the number of overdoses has overwhelmed first responders. "Their efforts are truly heroic, to be going from call to call to call," he says. "One district alone had seen 14 in one shift, so they were nonstop."

First responders and emergency room workers are being told to wear protective gloves and masks. That's because carfentanil is so potent, it can be dangerous to someone who simply touches or inhales it. This was devastatingly clear back in 2002, after a hostage rescue operation in Moscow that went wrong. To overpower Chechen terrorists who'd seized control of a theater, Russian Special Forces sprayed a chemical aerosol into the building. More than 100 hostages were overcome and died. Laboratory tests by British investigators later revealed [open, DOI: 10.1093/jat/bks078] [DX] that the aerosol included carfentanil.

In the article about the DEA adding kratom to Schedule I, I mentioned an "unprecedented" amount of "heroin" overdoses in Cincinnati. The carfentanil-cut heroin boosted the overdose tally to 174 in 6 days (225 in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Jersey):

Deaths have not spiked along with the overdose reports because police officers or emergency medical technicians are immediately administering naloxone, sometimes in more than one dose, to bring heroin users back to consciousness and start them breathing.


Original Submission

Study: Legal Weed Far Better Than Drug War at Stopping Opioid Overdose Epidemic 73 comments

The Free Thought Project reports via AlterNet

There's one thing that appears to be saving more lives during the opioid epidemic than anything else--medical cannabis. While government touts meaningless attempts at addressing the problem--paying lip service to the people while protecting Big Pharma's profits and filling jails--people are saving themselves by turning to an ancient plant.

Yet another scientific study has confirmed that medical cannabis access reduces harm from opioid abuse among the population. A recent study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependency journal found that states with legal medical cannabis experience fewer hospitalizations related to opioids.

"Medical marijuana legalization was associated with 23% and 13% reductions in hospitalizations related to opioid dependence or abuse and [opioid pain reliever] OPR overdose, respectively; lagged effects were observed after policy implementation."

Researchers from the University of California analyzed hospital administrative records for the period of 1997 to 2014. The author reported:

"This study demonstrated significant reductions on OPR- (opioid pain reliever) related hospitalizations associated with the implementation of medical marijuana policies. ... We found reductions in OPR-related hospitalizations immediately after the year of policy implementation as well as delayed reductions in the third post-policy year."

The data also show that cannabis-related hospitalizations did not increase after legalization, contrary to what prohibitionists would have you believe.


Original Submission

West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana 13 comments

West Virginia MetroNews reported on April 5:

Legislation legalizing medical marijuana is one step closer to becoming law in West Virginia. The Senate Wednesday approved SB 386 by a vote of 28-6.[PDF]

However, the bill includes some technical changes made after the House passed the bill earlier this week. Both chambers have agreed to those "clean ups", which do not affect the substance of the bill. The House is expected to sign off on those details and the bill then goes to Governor Jim Justice.

The bill will make West Virginia the 29th state [sic] allowing the use of marijuana for the treatment of certain kinds of pain and illnesses with approval by a physician. Under the legislation, the marijuana would have to be taken in pill or liquid form. It does not allow for marijuana to be smoked or gown[sic] by the patient.

Governor Justice has said he's not opposed to medical marijuana.

NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws now adds:

West Virginia legislators on Thursday [April 7] approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program. The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for permitting qualified patients access cannabis therapy.

If signed into law, West Virginia will become the 30th state to authorize by statute the physicians-recommended use of cannabis or cannabis-infused products.

Under the amended measure, qualified patients will be permitted to obtain cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, or creams from a limited number of state-authorized dispensaries. Cannabis-based medications will be produced by state-licensed growers and processors. Patients will not be permitted to grow their own cannabis, nor will they be able to legally access or smoke herbal formulations of the plant. Similar restrictive programs are presently in place in Minnesota and New York and are awaiting implementation in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

To participate in the proposed program, both patients and physicians would need to be registered with the state. Government officials are not mandated under the legislation to begin issuing patient identification cards until July 1, 2019.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:27PM (21 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:27PM (#496918)

    You are free to do as Uncle Sam tells you.

    There is no place in a civilized society for dictates.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:35PM (20 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:35PM (#496924)

      Actually dictates are what make a civilized society...

      1. No murder
      2. No theft

      Those are the two big ones that every society has endorsed. We can argue over which dictates are good and which are bad, but to pretend that human beings are naturally well behaved civilized creates is naive. As our collective knowledge and experience grows we can only hope that we make better choices about which dictates are good and reasonable.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:40PM (#496926)

        * creates = creatures

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:44PM (18 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @04:44PM (#496929)

        Besides (see subject title), murder and theft are still rampant in society, despite such dictates—clearly, then, such dictates have nothing to do with civilized society.

        Indeed, murder and theft are the primary actions of a government like Uncle Sam, amirite?

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by butthurt on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:06PM (12 children)

          by butthurt (6141) on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:06PM (#496937) Journal

          The murder rates in the U.S. and in Honduras are more than a hundred times greater than in Japan and Singapore. I wonder why.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tynin on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:11PM (2 children)

            by tynin (2013) on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:11PM (#496940) Journal

            Because in Japan you are either putting in overtime at work, or you are a shut in at your parents house. Who as time to kill anyone when they are busy living up to their stereotypes?

            • (Score: 1) by butthurt on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:43PM (1 child)

              by butthurt (6141) on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:43PM (#496958) Journal

              Americans work a lot, too:

              With the steep rise in annual work hours for individuals and families, more than half of American workers report feeling overworked, overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do, and/or lacking in time to reflect upon the work they are doing.

              -- https://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/ilr/pdf/vol39p51.pdf [iu.edu]

              • (Score: 2) by tynin on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:01PM

                by tynin (2013) on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:01PM (#496969) Journal

                I've been enjoying 4/20 perhaps too much... my comment was meant in jest. :)

          • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:39PM

            by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:39PM (#496953)

            Local social culture.

            --
            "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
          • (Score: 2) by julian on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:44PM (1 child)

            by julian (6003) on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:44PM (#496960)

            One factor is less access to the most lethal of weapons. Hard to rack up a high kill streak with just a knife (though not impossible). But there are a lot of reasons, this is just one and probably not even the single most important one.

            --
            I am expecting written apologies from all Trump supporters when the indictments start
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:41PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:41PM (#496994)

              Japanese have more of an affection for BDSM, horror, and drawn out activities (from dating to murder, torture and rape.)

              Point being, while there are exceptions to the rule, most japanese are about the journey, not the ending, whereas most Americans are all about the ending and not the journey.

              For the Japanese the means justify the ends. For Americans the ends justify the means.

          • (Score: 4, Informative) by NotSanguine on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:55PM (3 children)

            by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:55PM (#497005) Homepage Journal

            The murder rates in the U.S. and in Honduras are more than a hundred times greater than in Japan and Singapore. I wonder why.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate [wikipedia.org]

            I'm currently reading Stephen Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature [wikipedia.org]. From the linked Wikipedia article:

            Pinker presents a large amount of data (and statistical analysis thereof) that, he argues, demonstrate that violence has been in decline over millennia and that the present is probably the most peaceful time in the history of the human species. The decline in violence, he argues, is enormous in magnitude, visible on both long and short time scales, and found in many domains, including military conflict, homicide, genocide, torture, criminal justice, and treatment of children, homosexuals, animals and racial and ethnic minorities. He stresses that "The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth; it has not brought violence down to zero; and it is not guaranteed to continue."[4]

            In comparison to historical homicide rates, even in the United States, homicide is at incredibly low levels. That levels in the US are significantly higher than Western Europe or Japan is certainly of concern. All the same, we currently live in the most peaceful and prosperous times *ever*.

            I'm a bit more than halfway through Pinker's book, and I highly recommend it, both for the data presented and for the cogent analysis of societal and cultural trends which have reduced violence by several orders of magnitude.

            As for marijuana legalization, I suspect that would further decrease violence (unless you're a bag of Doritos or a pint of ice cream) even more.

            --
            No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:54PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:54PM (#497101)

              Sorry to break some of this view. What you say is generally true but any country that lets in people with more tribalism inclinations and violent culture will push their crime statistics into the violent direction.

              To make full use of this historically unique situation, it's important that cultures have their feedback intact such that groups of people with violent inclinations learn by experience. Otherwise they try to externalize their learning curve onto other people.

              Another significant decline in violence can be seen in the circa 1750s.

              • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:33PM (1 child)

                by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:33PM (#497117) Homepage Journal

                What you say is generally true but any country that lets in people with more tribalism inclinations and violent culture will push their crime statistics into the violent direction.

                Please provide some specific examples. Actual data would be especially helpful.

                --
                No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
                • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday April 24, @04:38PM

                  by Wootery (2341) on Monday April 24, @04:38PM (#498932)

                  AC is talking garbage, as they generally are. You're right that Pinker's book is a great read on this topic.

          • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:00PM

            by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:00PM (#497007) Homepage Journal
            If we counted all the killing the US government engages in, it would definitely be one of the largest murderers in the world.
            --
            ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:04PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:04PM (#497086)

            Why are we still questioning this? Hispanics and blacks. Sorry not sorry. The jails are full of them and their graduation rate and IQ are the lowest of any racial group. They were never part of modern society until the Europeans forced it on them. They cant cope living in a modern, civilized, high tech society. They are feral people who belong in tribes fighting among themselves like they have for thousands of years. They cant cope with living in a civilized society so they revert back to their tribal warfare instincts and form gangs. It's what they have done their entire existence. Hispanic and black gangs are the largest of all gangs including MS13, M18, latin kings, mexican mafia, bloods and crips. So you might mention the aryan brotherhood but you don't hear about them butchering 4 kids alive in a park like MS13 or posting videos of brutal killings on social media like the mexican cartels. They should have been left alone to their own shitty societies.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:12PM (1 child)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:12PM (#496976) Journal

          Besides (see subject title), murder and theft are still rampant in society,

          That doesn't look very rampant to me. [statista.com]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:30PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:30PM (#497116)

            Murder and theft are couchant in society?

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:25PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:25PM (#496981)

          So you're saying the dictates you like are agreements; everything else is violently imposed.

          Oh good, and here I thought we might be arguing something objectively.

          • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday April 24, @04:41PM

            by Wootery (2341) on Monday April 24, @04:41PM (#498934)

            The difference is whether government is being used to resolve a tragedy of the commons.

            It benefits each of us to agree not to murder. The benefit of the reduced odds of being murdered easily outweigh the downside of no longer getting to murder others, but it takes a government to enforce the prohibition.

            This isn't true of, say, a dictator spending tax money on palaces and cocaine.

        • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday April 24, @04:36PM

          by Wootery (2341) on Monday April 24, @04:36PM (#498931)

          Besides (see subject title), murder and theft are still rampant in society, despite such dictates

          You have no idea what you're talking about. Do some reading and get a sense of perspective.

          Back when man lived in a state of nature, the most common cause of death for men was other men. Living in the first-world today, your odds of dying at the hands of another human might not even be 1 in 100.

          If you're serious about this, you'll read The Better Angels of Our Nature [wikipedia.org], a book on precisely this topic: the long-term decline of violence in human society.

  • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:12PM (7 children)

    by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:12PM (#496941)

    The annual cannabis celebration isn't a "thing" in my part of the world (or at least my social circle). So when I saw the 20-sided die and "4/20" in the title, I thought it was a story about probability.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:32PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:32PM (#496951)

      Will the Stormtroopers knock down my front door and kill my dog for smoking this leafy plant this time? We'll see! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:40PM (#496956)

        No, go ahead and enjoy this smoke. We know that you only have this one joint, and some seeds and stems left in the house right now. You enjoy this smoke, then run across town to stock up again. Your NEXT joint, we intend to kick down your door, kill your dog and your cat, and maybe your mother too. Why your mother? Simple - if she dies during a police bust, then she has died during the commission of a felony, making you responsible for her death. Sweet - we get to blow away another old biddy, and you face a capital murder charge because we like blowing people away.

        But, chill dude - enjoy your smoke. It's the next smoke that will be harsh, not this one.

        - Alphabet Guy

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:53PM (4 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday April 20 2017, @05:53PM (#496965) Journal

      I just write these articles for fun. In no way shape or form do I partake in the devil's lettuce.

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:31PM (3 children)

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:31PM (#496983)

        If not for you posting this article (and similar ones in previous years) I wouldn't know of the existence of this "celebration". So I guess it's some form of education. :)

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:24PM (2 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:24PM (#497092)

          It's also Hitler's birthday, in case you missed that part of internet culture.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:46PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:46PM (#497388)

            Hitler was a pothead? That might explain something! ;-)

            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday April 22, @12:53AM

              by kaszz (4211) on Saturday April 22, @12:53AM (#497705) Journal

              Actually he did consume large amounts of amphetamine, barbiturates, opiates, and cocaine starting in the late 1930s. Supposedly his doctor said it would make him feel full of energy or so.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Lagg on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:16PM (4 children)

    by Lagg (105) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:16PM (#496977) Homepage Journal

    You don't know what you're doing. I gotchu.

    Anyway, I'd say 205 never had a chance in AZ. I'm a native, been here most of my life and just got dragged back kicking and screaming. The failure was the direct result of mayors willing to lie on TV for bribes, a characteristically ignorant and religious public, a fentanyl manufacturer and alcohol manufacturer collective. It went unchecked because the county governments are already hopelessly corrupt and barely covered in the news despite that. The few pro-legalization groups can essentially be described as moms trying to be cool. The people (despite my empathy, slowly leaking as it may be every day) are dumb cattle even when you compare the dumb cattle implementing CA politics that forced their reaction.

    It's hard to express properly how much of a virtue ignorance is considered here. Mix that with opioids that I can tell you from 7 years of experience actively make you dumber and more malleable and you've got people that will basically do whatever you put the effort out to convince them to do.

    Also I'm really starting to build a grudging deep hatred towards these people. Ever since the election I've tried to have empathy and succeeded. But I just wish they'd leave me alone. I'm discovering people I thought were years long friends and acquaintances are actually people I want nothing to do with that think a masquerade has been lifted. That they're something special part of something special. It's fucking worse than aforementioned CA identity politics.

    Corruption links & stuffs:

    https://kdminer.com/news/2012/aug/03/former-county-worker-loses-bid-to-get-job-back/ [kdminer.com]
    http://www.havasunews.com/news/mohave-county-officials-issue-dire-warnings-about-marijuana/article_00e67086-99ac-11e4-8507-d3a57edf18cb.html [havasunews.com]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_State_Prison_%E2%80%93_Kingman#July_2015_riots [wikipedia.org]
    https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-08/fentanyl-maker-donates-big-to-campaign-opposing-pot-legalization [usnews.com]

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
    • (Score: 4, Touché) by takyon on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:31PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday April 20 2017, @06:31PM (#496984) Journal

      You don't know what you're doing. I gotchu.

      Oh yeah? If we included the full story of your failed state, it would be even less of a summary than it already isn't! Fuck!

      #UniversalBasicIncome

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Friday April 21 2017, @11:56AM (2 children)

      by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21 2017, @11:56AM (#497352)

      You don't know what you're doing. I gotchu.

      I'd have mod'ed you up if not for that initial dick'ish comment.. Maybe you should smoke some weed and chill...

      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
      • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Friday April 21, @03:19PM (1 child)

        by Lagg (105) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21, @03:19PM (#497443) Homepage Journal

        That's okay. Because that post wasn't for you and the tone/intent was understood by who it needed. But don't worry I'll survive without internet points at least another season.

        Also how dare you assume my weed usecase.

        --
        http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
        8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
        • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Monday April 24, @11:20AM

          by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 24, @11:20AM (#498773)

          That's okay. Because that post wasn't for you and the tone/intent was understood by who it needed. But don't worry I'll survive without internet points at least another season.

          ahh, it's all cool then man...

          Also how dare you assume my weed usecase.

          Fair point...

          --
          Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aclarke on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:39PM (9 children)

    by aclarke (2049) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:39PM (#497018) Homepage

    The issue I hear most about here in Canada about what's slowing us down is how are we going to test people for driving under the influence of pot. See http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/saliva-tests-marijuna-1.4071653. [www.cbc.ca] Granted IANAL, just an apparently naïve adult, but I just don't understand how this is an issue. Right now we don't have good DUI tests and pot is illegal. If we legalize pot, we won't have good DUI tests and (driving under the influence of) pot is illegal.

    The only issue I can think of is if the car smells of smoke and you can't tell if the driver is high or not. But then again, that's already probably an issue. "Car smells of pot" isn't likely sufficient evidence to prosecute someone for DUI. Not to mention all the ways of using pot that don't leave a scent. You could go with a possession charge maybe but even that's iffy if there's no weed in the car. It seems like in the end, all legalisation really does is bring to light issues that already exist. Maybe someone here can explain to me what I'm missing.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:46PM (#497021)

      The perception I have seen among the public (not law enforcement unions, police chiefs, politicians, private prison lobbyists, etc) is that stoned driving is impaired driving, but it may be balanced out by paranoia and cautious driving.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @09:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @09:38PM (#497079)

      As a fellow Canadian, I have been pondering exactly the same points you made. It's as if people believe that all of a sudden there will be this epidemic of stoned driving if it is made legal. Well, I have news for all of these politicians, a gram of weed is easier and cheaper for me to obtain than a pack of smokes or a six pack of beer. The people who a likely to drive stoned are probably already doing it. Legalizing and regulating it will eventually make it harder to obtain, just like it did with alcohol.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:02PM (3 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:02PM (#497104) Journal

      Isn't there an issue where the Marijuana can be stored in the fat of the body. Such that if you happen to be in period where your fat deposit decreases every so slightly one will get a new uncontrolled high? Thus drug-DUI even if there's no drug in the car nor have taken any as of lately?

      And do test really test for drug-DUI right now or get confused by leftovers from earlier highs?

      • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday April 21 2017, @06:09AM (2 children)

        by dry (223) on Friday April 21 2017, @06:09AM (#497260)

        I think what you are thinking of is the metabolic byproducts of THC, which is usually what they actually test for (may be new tests). These byproducts stay in the system for 2-3 days so all they can really test for is whether you used in the last couple of days, not whether you're stoned.
        There is a lot of work being done of tests for impairment so I may be out of date.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 21 2017, @07:00AM (1 child)

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21 2017, @07:00AM (#497280) Journal

          The 10 000 $$ question is. If the test that have a 2-3 day time window turns out positive. Does it count as a offense?
          Anyone caught can claim they were high 2 days ago..

          • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday April 22, @04:06AM

            by dry (223) on Saturday April 22, @04:06AM (#497779)

            That's why they're working on better tests. I fell asleep at the wheel years ago and the cops thought I was drunk and got a search warrant for my blood and did a detailed toxicity thingy on it. The copy of the report I got said right on it that I tested positive for using marijuana with the caveat that it could have been anytime in the last 48 hours. Not something that they can convict on as it introduces a reasonable doubt though if they'd found something like roaches in the ashtray...
            When I was young, I did smoke a lot of pot and sometimes drove. When I smoked it all the time, I don;t think it made me particularly impaired and what impairment there was was counteracted by being more careful. The most impaired I've ever been has been when tired. A couple of trips I took, looking back at, it's amazing someone didn't die. Worst was when I working about 50 miles away, by the Friday trip home, I was waking up as I wandered off the road, thank god for noisy leaves :) With the cost of housing here (forcing people to live a long ways from work) and the move to make people work longer hours, tiredness is probably the biggest danger.
            Googling, it does seem there are newer tests that actually test for THC in saliva, somewhat surprising as THC is mostly fat soluble, but then again marijuana tea is supposed to be a thing.
            http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/police-across-canada-testing-saliva-based-roadside-devices-to-detect-drugs-in-impaired-drivers [nationalpost.com]
            https://phys.org/news/2016-09-potalyzer-roadside-saliva-marijuana-intoxication.html [phys.org]
             

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:35PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:35PM (#497119) Journal

      The issue I hear most about here in Canada about what's slowing us down is how are we going to test people for driving under the influence of pot.

      Begging the question, eh?

      Has it been scientifically determined that pot negatively affects driving? I'm not saying it doesn't, but, banning stuff before figuring out if it's harmful is how we got in this mess in the first place.

      Is there a roadside test that can figure out if someone was texting? Seems like we're relying on "see it happen" for something we know is dangerous. Why isn't that sufficient for weed?

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dry on Friday April 21 2017, @06:19AM

        by dry (223) on Friday April 21 2017, @06:19AM (#497263)

        There has been scientific tests that show pot negatively affects driving and scientific tests that show it doesn't. Someone who doesn't regularly use pot and gets really stoned shouldn't drive and often they know that and avoid driving. Someone who uses pot all the time still has slightly slower reactions, like being tired, but is likely to take the affects into account and drive more carefully. At that generally pot smokers are more careful, especially compared to alcohol users who are likely to speed and act like idiots.
        The problem is that the public worries about this, they also worry about usage on the job (as if it isn't already happening) which may which may lead to legalizing workplace drug testing and kids getting it, which means more laws about edibles, namely no edibles that look inviting to kids.

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday April 21 2017, @06:06AM

      by dry (223) on Friday April 21 2017, @06:06AM (#497259)

      They're also passing a stronger impaired driving law that will allow the cops to haul you in for a saliva test if your car is full of pot smoke or even if you have red eyes. Whether the Supreme Court will be happy with the law remains to be seen.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:58PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @07:58PM (#497029)

    We don't have an Alcoholics Day, or a Heroin Addicts day, why the flying fuck is celebrating marijuana drug use ok? Jesus H Christ, The Narcotized State. Because thats working so well elsewhere. Pot heads need to die in a fire.

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by takyon on Thursday April 20 2017, @08:20PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday April 20 2017, @08:20PM (#497043) Journal

      We don't have an Alcoholics Day

      It's called St. Patrick's Day.

      The rest of your post can be safely ignored as the ramblings of a sober man.

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:31PM (1 child)

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:31PM (#497095)

        You forgot:
        New year's Eve
        Superbowl Sunday
        Memorial Day
        4th of July (drunk with explosives)
        Labor Day
        Last game of March Madness
        Last Game of the Playoffs (x3)
        And, to an extent limited by the quantity of food and family, Thanksgiving Day, black Friday (gotta finish the bottles) and Christmas...

        I'm surprised our booze-making overlords haven't invented more...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @09:35PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @09:35PM (#497077)

      Don't let logic and reason inform your opinions, just propaganda and reactionary moralizing.

      Why do we have a veterans day? Thanks for murdering some other people guys! Way to GOOO! I wouldn't want such events or myself to be celebrated, if it comes down to it war should be a horrifying necessity and I would prefer not to be reminded of it on a scheduled yearly basis.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:06PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20 2017, @11:06PM (#497105)

        If the veterans didn't do their murdering somewhere else. It would end with foreign people murdering in your neighborhood. So the day could be seen as a day for veterans to socialize with others that share PTSD etc as well as a societal thank you for doing the job so our kids and workforce won't have to.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @02:59AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @02:59AM (#497197)

          Oh I appreciate their efforts in the distant past, but don't kid yourself. Pretty much all living veterans are now imperial murderers. I do appreciate the good work they've done, I appreciate their desire to serve their country, but reality is what it is. I chose the example because veterans are a protected class and given that they are used to terrorize in order to maintain an empire I have a big problem with someone getting bent out of shape cause some people chose a day to promote a plant that is unfairly persecuted, and that persecution has ruined millions of lives over the last many decades.

    • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Thursday April 20 2017, @09:52PM

      by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday April 20 2017, @09:52PM (#497083) Journal

      Heroin Addicts day

      Probably because that would be like having an HFCS-users day (heroin is a synthetic drug)

      But October the 24th would be a very good candidate for opium(or opioids)-addicts day, it was when The second opium war [wikipedia.org] ended (and that is roughly average [wikipedia.org] for 24th of october)

    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:15PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20 2017, @10:15PM (#497091) Journal

      Yawn. lame troll is lame.

  • (Score: 1) by What planet is this on Friday April 21 2017, @01:54PM

    by What planet is this (5031) on Friday April 21 2017, @01:54PM (#497396)

    If you want to study the long term effects of weed just look around you. I know people who have literally smoked every day for the last 45 years. They don't have lung cancer, their liver is intact, their kidneys function, they've held good jobs all their lives that involve quite a bit of responsibility. Their kids aren't mutants. They don't run down the street naked screaming at invisible demons. If they can't get any weed for a week they don't curl up in a ball or go insane.

    Alcoholics on the other hand, jeez, don't get me started.

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